Sigh. To think that a murderer and a savoir are the same thing is to misunderstand Antares’s cryptic words. The demon, while often seeming vague and ambiguous, actually tended to speak quite clearly and directly. It was normally my reluctance to accept the obvious meaning of his words that confused me. That being said, I must note that Anaters was unusually firm in his refusal to finish either story of the future. And to some extent, I now know why, and I will explain that later, but for now, suffice it to say, a few years later, I did, on my own, manage to find another being, who finished this tale for me. And since I would rather not leave you in the suspense that tortured me for years, I will finish this tale, for it is important, and the information that I garnered from this event, even if of a broken and "impossible" timeline, clarified much of my purpose in this life and time.

* * * * * *

  And so onward I flew, with renewed purpose in my heart. Not only did I carry the duty and obligation to save the Zion, I now bore the right of vengeance for the Captain as well. Nevertheless, my new found motivation aside, I remained very worried and anxious. First, I had not walked, let alone fought, in a dream in over 15 earth years, and but for that door knob to face, I do not even know if I could have found this dream or the First Elder on my own.

  Moreover, I had to admit that my dream form felt odd to me, cumbersome even. Nor could I shake the strange statement from the First Elder that he did not recognize me. How could the First Elder not recognize me? Especially on the dreamscape, where truth tended to be harder to mask. I should, to the best of my understanding of the mechanics of the dreamworld, be essentially unchanged in form. Moreover, I definitely did not understand why the First Elder felt I was more powerful than even he thought I could be. With so much rust from my absence in the dreamworld, even my flight seemed clumsy to me, as Wrath and Justice felt small in my hands, and my ki flow, was, at best, restrained and sluggish. Prudence getting the better of me, I decided to stop and perform a self diagnostic before proceeding much closer to the Fallen, and try to understand what the First Elder found so odd about me (but the Captain did not!!!).

  And to add insult to injury, I was trembling all over. It had started shortly after I arrived, and it was incessant, gradually growning more intense as I travelled. I tried to contain my fear, but nothing worked, I mean, shit, even my teeth were fucking chattering!

  But, as often was the case in my life,fate redirected my attention and solved my problem for me, as I abruptly flew directly into something, hurtling me backwards and shattering my concentration. I fell into the ocean like a ton of bricks – literally and figuratively. But oddly the waters below me were no longer water, but somewhere along the way, the waters froze into a crystalline form, not ice, but much, much harder. I landed with quite a thud,which made for a rather large crater.

  Frustrated, I just sort of laid there in that hole for a moment, and after a second or two, I started to laugh - twice in one day my dumb arse had ran into something. But this was no door knob, it was a wall, a "barrier". But the question was whose? And then, rather abruptly, it was just there. I looked up, and streched out in front of me was the largest hand that I had ever seen, even in a dream. However, the more disturbing thing was that I did not hesitate to accept the offer of help, but when I reached out my hand to clasp this other hand, the two slid together as if we were twins. The hand then effortlessly yanked me out of the crater and to my feet. I bent over from the pain in my shoulder, and as I cautiously looked up, I saw a very familar face.

  And then I really started to shake.

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